Launched in 1990, the award-winning Elantra is one of Hyundai’s all time best-selling models. For 2017, Hyundai manages to add new features and technology to the all-new Elantra, while dropping the starting price by $100. At the regional launch in New Orleans, the Elantra impressed Latino Traffic Report with its bar-raising segment firsts.
The redesign starts with a new look on the outside, defined by Hyundai’s signature hexagonal grille and smoother contoured lines that enhance its aerodynamics. The redesign also includes equipment firsts like the available HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lights, unique vertical LED daytime running lights, the LED door handle approach lights, and LED taillights.
The base model Elantra SE matches the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a standard six-speed manual transmission. Great news for fans of the stick shift, except that it’s sold as-is. Stepping up to the Eco trim level makes the 1.4-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission standard. The Eco trim should offer the best gas savings of all with an EPA estimated combined fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon (mpg).
At the launch, we drove the Limited trim level that’s powered by the 2.0 liter matched to a six-speed automatic Shiftronic transmission with the Active ECO System. We averaged 35.9 mpg while driving at a good clip and crossing state lines between Louisiana and Mississippi. Standard on all Elantras, the Drive Mode Select further enhanced its performance.
Stepping up to the Limited trim level brings many more advantages, including standard advanced safety features like a rearview camera, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert, and Lane Change Assist. While not offered on the SE manual, they are available on the SE with the automatic transmission.
Premium soft-touch materials, new creature comforts like dual climate control, and available advanced technology like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, give the Elantra a more upscale interior. It’s also larger than its competitors, so much so that it’s classified as a midsize sedan by the EPA. Segment firsts include premium features like s a hands-free Smart Trunk—there’s no need to swipe a foot under the bumper, just approach with keys in your pocket and in a few seconds the trunk will open.
More segment firsts on the inside include the integrated memory system for the power driver seat and side mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and advanced ergonomic front seats. The Limited trim adds heated front seats and offers heated rear seats (not found among its competitors).
For added convenience, the rear seat is split 60/40, folding forward for additional cargo volume. The Elantra already offers class-above total interior volume with 110.2 cu. ft. Cargo volume in the trunk reaches 14.4 cu. ft.
In a competitive segment like compact cars, the Elantra excels at offering a generous list of standard and available features, including some not normally found among its competitors.
Pricing for the 2017 Elantra SE starts at $17,985, while pricing for the Limited starts at $23,185.